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Purple Frig

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Submitted By mmartinez41
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The Newly Discovered Purple Chubby Amphibian
For decades scientist have tried finding a species that once shared the same land when dinosaurs still crawled on this Earth. To scientist surprise, they recently made an unusual discovery of a new species of frogs. The strange looking new amphibian is known to be a sole surviving member of amphibians that evolved more than 130 million years ago. Scientist calls this species discovery as a ‘once in a century find’ because of it’s belonging to an ancient group of amphibians that once shared the same land with dinosaurs. Formally discovered in 2003, the poignous frog, also known as the “Purple Frog”, has been the talk of all scientist discoveries because of its comic features and behaviors. Although this new species has recently been discovered with highly distinctive and comical appearances, its behaviors adaptive values benefit the amphibian by increasing its total fitness. However scientists might now be able to research this rare species because it is slowly decreasing in population.
The purple frog has a sidesplitting appearance with a distinctive habitat in an unusual range of geographical location. This new species of frog can be described as a typical frog at first glance but as you pay closer attention you notice its distinctive appearances compared to other species of frogs. The body has a similar shape like most frogs yet it has a plump bloated body shape with short fore and hind limbs that end in webbed feet with rounded toes. Each hind foot has a large, white wart look-a-like growth that is most likely used for digging in their moist soil locations. The small head shape of the frog seems almost too small for such a short body that contains an odd narrow snout that ends in a light shading of white. The eyes are very small and rounded and have horizontal pupils. The most interesting characteristics of the poignous frog is its dark purple hue of skin color that surrounds the seven centimeters smooth bloated body that does fade into a grayish hue in the tummy area. Its brilliant hue is not the strangest thing about it. The purple frog is known to spend more than 13 feet under ground and only comes for air during breeding season. It is usually found in undisturbed secondary forest nearby evergreen montane forest or cardamom plantations, where moist damp and lose soil is needed to borrow themselves in. It is also found in proximity of streams, ponds and ditches where female poignous frogs lay their fertilized eggs during monsoon season. It geographical location and range is very small because this amphibian is only found in the Western Ghats of India, where it is known to be seen in only couple of towns in the Cardomom Hills of Kerala State. Even thought its habitat is in remote locations in India scientist have been able to research its foraging behavior underground.
The purple frog spends most of the year underground and only surfaces during mating season for two weeks but scientist are surprised to discover that its diet and foraging behavior are still the same underground as it is above ground. The diet of the purple frog largely consists of termites; the small gape of its narrow mouth prevents it from consuming or catching other larger prey insects. The frog’s foraging behavior is displayed in the tactile sensory channel of communication that allows the amphibian’s strong head and pointed snout to penetrate underground termites niches. Foraging is performed during the frog’s reclusive fossorial lifestyle, where both female and male highly favor the technique. Due to their poor vision, these frogs seemingly depend on smell and tactile cues in order to locate prey or detect it. The adapting value for this foraging behavior has benefit to the purple amphibian because since it lacks good vision it relies on tactile behavior in order to survive. Since they spend most of their time underground, it is hard for them to see because of the moist soil. Having a tactile foraging behavior underground decreases the chances of becoming prey compared to foraging above ground where many predators are at close range. Not only does this provide a great alternative of finding but also provides a better way of locating food without risking their own lives in the process. Not only does this foraging behavior benefit the poignous frog but also its unique reproductive behavior has an adaptive value that also benefits the species.
After spending most of the year underground by digging or burrowing the poignous frog waits until it is monsoon season, where their breeding season begins for about two weeks straight. They go up above ground and temporary breed in ponds, streams or ditches. During their breeding season, scientists have noticed a reproductive behavior that consists of pairing up and clasping each other. During this mating behavior, the males clasp the female from the rear just above the legs in what is called “inguinal amplexus”. Males are considerably smaller in body shape compared to females, so once they have clasped on onto a female they partially glue themselves by producing a sticky skin secretions that allow the males to stay in place. This reproductive behavior is displayed through the chemical sensory channel of communication that allows males to have higher chances of fertilizing the female’s eggs. Naturally purple frog males are noticeably smaller in size leaving them at a disadvantage in the mating process, but by using this reproductive behavior it allows males that are smaller shaped than most females to clasp on correctly onto females in order to increase the rates of reproductive success. Therefore increasing their total fitness overall by having their genes passed on throughout generations to come. Although this amphibian has just recently been discovered it already faces possible extinction that could lead to a loss of valuable research by scientists who are enthralled by staggering creature.
The poignous frog is classified and listed as an endangered species on the IUCN red list and it has only been a couple years since it was discovered. It is considered in an endangered species because of the extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 kilometers per square. This species of frogs are only found in fewer than five locations in India, and there has been declining habitat area in its current. Many threats have been the cause of the declining population of the purple frog but the main one is believed to be loss of forest territory. The loss of forests in the Cardomom Hills is because of the demand of coffee, ginger, caradomom and other spices for cultivation, which are slowly but surely making forest territory decrease. Another reason for low population of this elusive frog is the development of dams in vast areas they inhabit. There are only around 135 poignous frogs that populate the Cardamom hills. The smaller number of females within the frog population statistic have scientist worry that this dinosaur age amphibian might come to be extinct very soon.
The purple frog is a fascinating amphibian that has astonished scientists with its interesting ancient lineage of frogs that have been evolving over millions of years ago. It habitats forests in the Western Ghats in India where due to expanding cultivation it has have been listed as an endangered species with only a small number of purple frogs still alive. The purple frog has a foraging behavior that separates it form other species of frogs that not only benefit the purple from but also serves as a protective technique. It also has a reproductive behavior that helps male purple frogs when it comes to increasing their chances of their genes passed on into their offspring. With both behaviors we can see how the adaptive value of the behaviors benefit the amphibian when it comes to successfully accomplishing total fitness. Although the purple frogs have been recently discovered, scientists have researched many of its behavior and ancestry but are afraid it is only a matter of time when this rare species could end up being extinct just like dinosaurs.

Biju, S.D. and Bossuyt, F. 2003. New frog family from India reveals an ancient biogeographical link with the Seychelles. Nature 425: 711-714.
Dutta, S.K., Vasudevan, K., Chaitra, M.S., Shanker, K. and Aggarwal, R.K. 2004. Jurassic frogs and the evolution of amphibian endemism in the Western Ghats. Current Science 86(1): 211-216.
Purple Leaper. (2004). Weekly Reader News - Edition 3, 73(18), 3.
Smith, J.(2003,October 18). Science FIle; New Frog Species Is Discovered in Southern India; The amphibian's closest relatives live off Africa, raising questions on how ancient animal populations dispersed. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 19, from
Purple Power!. (2004). Know Your World Extra, 37(7), 4.

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